Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Excerpt from Charming Deception,by Carol Ann Kauffman

Chapter One

Okay, where the hell am I? What happened to me? The last thing I remember is… nothing comes to mind. Nothing looks familiar here. I turn toward the window. It’s dark outside, cloudy, not a star in the big, black sky. The room is dark. I’m naked in this big, comfortable bed. Judging from the smell of the lavender scent on the perfectly ironed, high thread-count sheets and pillowcases, I’m either in a very high-end luxury hotel or in one of Martha Stewart's guest rooms.
 A snore interrupts my thoughts. Apparently, I am not alone. I glance over at the noisy lump beside me. Nope. Don’t recognize him. There's a very strong possibility that I've been teleported back to the free-loving sixties. I get up quietly to go to the bathroom. A glint of gold catches my eye from the ring finger of my left hand. I'm married? Oh, shit! When did this happen? This isn't the sixties. This must be Vegas, baby. I creep quietly into the bathroom, close the door, and snap on the light. Definitely a hotel. Plain, antiseptic bathroom. Martha Stewart's guest bathroom would have scented candles and a sense of style, hospitality, and luxury. And not so much white. White walls, white floor, white towels, white shower curtain. A rather bizarre-looking attachment on the faucet, and another one on the showerhead. I look at the mirror. I carefully touch the mirror to make sure it was a real mirror, not a…what? What else would it be? Oh, God, I’ve gone mad. I peer into the mirror. 
Yikes… well, I give that bony lump sleeping beside me credit for marrying me when I look like hell. Good grief, he must be a total loser. I examine my dull, spotty complexion, wild Einstein hair, and the bags under my blurry, bloodshot eyes. My head hurts. I check myself for bruises, scratches, and sore spots. No, nothing. Well, at least I wasn’t attacked. So, what do I tell that Bony Lump?
‘Hey, Bozo, whatever happened between us, it was just some bizarre mistake. Gather your things and get the hell out of here. I'll contact my lawyer to annul this fiasco as soon as I get home. Now go!’ Then I’ll point to the door for dramatic effect. Oh, yeah, that sounds good.
As soon as I get home. Home? Where is home? I can’t remember. I look back at the reflection in the mirror. I can't remember where I live, or how I got here. I can't remember where I work, or what kind of car I drive. I can’t remember my name. A…Amy, Ann…B…Barb…Bebe…C…Cianna… Carrie…Carol, no. 
Hmmm. did Bony Lump drug me? Did he drug me, take advantage of me, and then, marry me? No, why would he do that? That makes absolutely no sense. I wiggle the beautiful gold wedding ring with a large brilliant cut diamond in the center. Weighty. Expensive. Good fit. And… slightly familiar. Oh, look, a little tan line. Now, how can that be? This has to be a dream. 
I snap off the light and creep silently back into bed. 
Oh, crap! That might have been my last chance at escape if this lump beside me is a kidnapper. The sooner I go back to sleep, the sooner I’ll wake up, and this bizarre dream will be over. D…Diane…E… Emma …F…Franka, no G…Gigi… H…Helen… I… J…Janie…K… Katie…L…Louisa… M…M…Marie…Mena…Mmmm. 
Bony Lump rolls over and pulls me to him gently, hugging me, patting my shoulder. 
“It was just a nightmare, my love. I'm right here. You're safe,” he whispers sweetly in a sexy, sleepy voice. “Go back to sleep. You’re safe. I’ll protect you. Always.” He kisses my head gently. He has a wonderful voice. British accent. Kind. Reassuring. Gentle. Loving. Very touching. 

So, what else could I do but fall asleep in his arms, with my hand on his just-hairy-enough chest, breathing in his familiar scent.

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